Jobs That Robots Cannot Take From Us
Gus Lubin, BusinessInsider 253 Times 154 People

The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.

McKinseys report on the future of automation notes that humans are better than robots at:

  • Spotting new patterns, 
  • Logical reasoning, 
  • Creativity, 
  • Coordination between multiple agents, 
  • Natural language understanding, 
  • Identifying social and emotional states, 
  • Responding to social and emotional states, 
  • Displaying social and emotional states, and 
  • Moving around diverse environments.

The report named four skills where robots matched us and five where they beat us.

Skills where Robots matched humans:
  • Sensory perception – autonomously infer and integrate complex external perception using sensors

  • Output articulation/presentation – deliver outputs/visualizations across a variety of mediums other than natural language

  • Natural language generation – deliver messages in natural language, including nuanced human interaction and some quasi language (e.g. gestures)

  • Fine motor skills/dexterity – manipulate objects with dexterity and sensitivity

Skills where they beat us:
  • Recognizing known patterns/categories (supervised learning) – recognize simple/complex known patterns and categories other than sensory perception

  • Optimization and planning – optimize and plan for objective outcomes across various constraints

  • Information retrieval – search and retrieve information from a large scale of sources (breadth, depth, and degree of integration)

  • Gross motor skills – move objects with multidimensional motor skills

  • Navigation – autonomously navigate in various environments

McKinsey finds that almost half of work activities globally could be automated using current technology. Of course, the robots are getting better.


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